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Political Expediency: DACA and the ACA

Posted by Michael Lyman on

On September 5, President Trump rescinded the Obama era immigration policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), causing a panic amongst “Dreamers” that have enjoyed a citizenship-like status under that policy and enraging many others.

What many of those who have been either incensed or scared by this administration’s latest action might not know is that there is a delay on this plan to halt DACA for six months, seemingly so Congress can figure out a better or more lasting plan.

Could this set a precedent for Congress’ actions against Obamacare? Could this administration and Congress finally get their “repeal and replace” if it means the replacing of the ACA could be pushed off? That would sure look good to the Republican base, especially supporters of Trump (whatever category they may fall under).

This is what is called political expediency; the actions of a politician or political party that are based solely on earning points and gaining reelection, regardless of the overall damage done to the American people. Republicans across the board campaigned on repealing Obama’s health legacy, even going so far as to admit that it did not matter what replaced it, so long as they kept their “promise” to their constituents.

If anything can be learned from American politics since last year, it is that our leaders being beholden to a mob of constituents in a minority (yes, Trump’s popular vote exceedingly falls into that category) will only hurt the American people as a whole. Dreamers, those who have benefitted from DACA and many of which have been in this country since infancy, by definition qualify as American people that are being hurt by this dastardly trend of political expediency. 

Senator Mitch McConnell has thankfully been thwarted at every turn in his attempts to repeal Obamacare, though the writing is on the wall. In July he proposed a repeal of the ACA that would allow for a two year term for Congress to come up with a viable replacement. As Vox reported then, “The idea has a certain logic. Republicans can…make good on their promise…”

Obamacare may not be perfect; numbers can be hidden about where terrorists actually come from; fear can be stoked, as it always has, to gain certain political favor depending on your party’s policies.

But we can agree that deporting people to land they don’t really come from is wrong, right? We can agree that removing people’s healthcare who can’t afford it is wrong, right?

Apparently not. Trump’s numbers, along with Congress’, have been atrociously low since the election and certainly since January. Yet that doesn’t seem to stop them from attempting to enact agendas promised to a vast minority of the population, a minority that gets smaller month after month. People standing against these policies need to keep their voices heard, and these voices need to stay in the majority. Hopefully, eventually this political posturing for a dwindling base will fall apart and the nation can get back on track.

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